Russian frigate protects 9 ships from Somali pirates:Navy spokesman

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Moscow, Nov 21 (UNI) Russia's Neustrashimy missile frigate is escorting an international convoy of nine vessels past the Horn of Africa to protect them from Somali pirate attacks.

Russian Navy spokesman Capt 1st rank Igor Dygalo told reporters today the Neustrashimy was escorting one vessel from each of Russia, the Marshall Islands and the Cayman Islands, and six Liberian ships.

''The Russian Navy will continue its presence in the Horn of Africa region with the aim of providing safe shipping,'' he said.

However, he dismissed Russian media reports saying the Navy plans to deploy a large group of warships in the area.

''Talk of the possible presence of a large Russian Navy grouping on a regular basis in the Horn of Africa area is premature, as the Russian Navy does not have permanent bases in the area,'' he said.

UNI XC RJ HS1937

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